Weekly Now: Despite the Pandemic, Job Satisfaction Is Up

Counterintuitively, job satisfaction recently hit a two-decade high, according to a new study. Also: Get a glimpse of the future of 8K video with a new YouTube channel.

The nature of work has changed dramatically in the past year, with layoffs, cutbacks, and the general economic crisis putting workers and the employers that hire them in a tough spot.

Despite that, one new study shows that worker satisfaction has climbed to its highest in two decades. Research from The Conference Board found that job satisfaction in 2020 hit 56.9 percent, nearly 15 points higher than the 42.6 percent nadir a decade earlier. Additionally, worker engagement is up, hitting 54.3 percent in November 2020.

Driving this growth, according to The Conference Board, was a focus on well-being efforts, with employers showing support and flexibility during the pandemic, helping raise workers’ moods. That said, there was room for improvement in some areas—despite job satisfaction rising overall, it fell among those under age 35, and the potential for further shifts in the labor market could add more wrinkles to that dynamic in the coming years.

But surprisingly, one thing that wasn’t a factor in job satisfaction was remote work.

“Working remotely, the biggest recent trend in the U.S. labor market, was not significantly correlated with job satisfaction or employee engagement this year,” The Conference Board said in the executive summary of its Job Satisfaction 2021 report. “While some respondents may have appreciated the increased flexibility and the elimination of a daily commute, others may have suffered from the lack of in-person interaction and perhaps a less-than-ideal working environment at home, due to inferior equipment, lack of space, or child and other dependent care disruptions.”

Other recent headlines:

High schoolers launch tractor association. Some teens are into video games; others are into sports or music. North Carolina teens TJ Bryant and Brody Davis are really into antique tractors. In an effort to follow their passion, the high school students recently founded the Cleveland County Antique Tractor Association, which aims to show off vintage tractors from days gone by. Speaking to the Shelby Star, Davis noted that even though they’re the youngest members of the group they founded, their legacy with tractors goes way back. “I’ve been around them my whole life. My great-grandpa bought that tractor brand-new,” he told the newspaper. “They really bring back memories of the past, of a lot of people. It’s cool to preserve the past.”

An eye toward diversity in Hollywood. The Hollywood Professional Association, which represents the behind-the-scenes elements of the film industry, is creating a new outreach and educational program for building diversity in the field. The initiative, called HPA ALL, will launch with a weeklong event next month. In comments to Shoot, HPA President Seth Hallen emphasized that the association was focused on putting actions behind its pro-diversity words. “At our very core, HPA is about community—recognition, education, and connection—and we see a need to create an action-oriented initiative that transforms our community and opens the doors to all who are interested in the media and entertainment technology,” he said.

An Eye-Catching YouTube Channel

Fans of high-resolution videos, there’s a treat waiting for you on YouTube right now. As TV Technology reports, the 8K Association has launched a new channel on the service that, beyond discussing the technologies behind 8K video, includes a number of sample 8K videos for those who want a taste of the future. Granted, 8K displays are hard to come by these days—one of the few 8K computer monitors on the market, from Dell, sells for more than $3,000, and TVs are no less expensive—but the 8K Association is, of course, all about the future of displays, with many clips on the channel discussing the industry’s potential.

After all, it wasn’t too long ago when 4K displays were seen as a massive luxury, and now the odds are good you have one in your living room.


Spring has sprung, and so has the Spring 2021 issue of Associations Now. Be sure to get a look at the latest issue online.

The secret to building a membership dashboard might just be a little help from data-savvy volunteers. That’s what the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology learned recently.

Meeting agreements could prove a great way to make sure everyone is comfortable in a virtual environment. Here’s what the Western Arts Alliance learned from building theirs.


(mucahiddin/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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